Work to deliver a bus priority route along the East Lancashire Road (A580) between Salford and Manchester has begun. The first phase includes a series of utility diversions before construction can start next year. Dedicated bus lanes are to be created at key stretches of the road between Ellenbrook and Irlams o’th’ Height as part of the Leigh-Salford-Manchester busway. Alongside new stretches of bus lane there will be two lanes of general traffic in each direction. A new signalling system that responds to traffic levels on the road will also be installed to improve traffic flow at junctions. The 14 mile bus priority route from Leigh into the heart of Manchester city centre also includes a 4.5 mile guided busway between Leigh and Ellenbrook in Salford. Construction work started on the busway last month. Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Salford City Council have developed the scheme to improve access to key destinations by more reliable, punctual bus services with shorter journey times.
Chair of the TfGM Committee, Cllr Andrew Fender, said, ‘The improvements planned along the East Lancs Road are just part of one of the largest investments into the Great Manchester bus network in decades. By enabling more reliable and punctual bus services with shorter journey times we will make it much easier to get to key employment, education and healthcare destinations on the route and into the city centre and beyond.’
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) claims it is the first UK transport authority to commit to becoming carbon neutral. TfGM has reduced its own carbon emissions by 19% over the last three years. The organisation now plans to reach its carbon saving target of 75% by as soon as 2018 and is developing plans to be a zero carbon authority by 2033. The commitment was made as it launched a publicity campaign to raise awareness of the connection between public transport and carbon emissions. Part of the Ticket to Kyoto (T2K) partnership, the campaign highlights what TfGM and four other European partners are doing to help reduce carbon emissions in public transport.
Chair of the TfGM Committee, Councillor Andrew Fender, said, ‘Traffic on our roads makes up about one third of Greater Manchester’s carbon emissions so anything we can do to influence that is important, which is why we are playing our part with these ambitious carbon savings targets. Our zero carbon commitment and Ticket to Kyoto partnership show we are serious about making a difference – and T2K has helped us invest in some really innovative green projects. Beyond the partnership, we’re also doing what we can to show leadership in cutting transport-related emissions, which account for around 30% of Greater Manchester’s carbon footprint. Metrolink is the first UK tram system to run on green energy – and we’re on our way to having 280 green hybrid and electric buses on the road – more than anywhere in the UK outside London. These are just a few high profile examples of our work, which extends to making all our bus stations and offices greener.’